February 12, 2009

Couture Notches 100th Butler Win As Bulldogs Roll Past UIC, 68-49

Feb. 12, 2009

Box Score

Chicago, Ill. - Brittany Bowen tied her career-high with five three-pointers, Susan Lester and Melanie Thornton each registered double-doubles and head coach Beth Couture secured her 100th victory with the Bulldogs, as Butler topped UIC, 68-49, on Thursday (Feb. 12) evening at the UIC Pavilion.

The win sends Butler to 15-8 on the year and 10-2 in Horizon League play while improving Couture's record with the Bulldogs to 100-99 - her first career mark above .500 in her six-plus season at Butler. UIC, meanwhile, drops to 12-10 overall and 6-5 in the conference.

Butler took a 4-0 lead at the start of play and never looked back, building up a 13-point advantage at 19-6 with 11:35 left in the first period. Back-to-back threes by the Flames helped to cut the difference down to six with just over five minutes to go in the half, but five points by Bowen and lay-ups by Lester and Thornton gave the Bulldogs a 13-point cushion heading into the locker room.

The Bulldogs continued to pour it on at the start of the second, as back-to-back lay-ups by Lester and Lade Akande and a three-pointer by Bowen keyed a 7-2 run in the opening three minutes to put Butler in front by 18 at 42-24.

UIC would respond, however, riding a 10-0 surge over the next three minutes to cut the margin back down to eight with less than 15 minutes to go.

That's when Bowen took over, as the sophomore guard hit three-straight shots from beyond the arc in a span of just over two minutes to boost the Butler lead back to 19 at 58-39 with 6:30 remaining. UIC would attempt to rally but could get no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

UIC, which averaged a league-low 15.8 turnovers per game, was forced into 19 in the game, including an uncharacteristic 12 in the opening 20 minutes. The Bulldogs took advantage, converting them into 24 points in the game while allowing just nine Flames points off 10 miscues.

Butler also finished with a 19-4 margin on second chance points thanks to a 17-9 edge on the offensive glass.

Couture's 100 victories are the third-most in Butler history, trailing only Linda Mason (124) and June Olkowski (114).

Bowen finished with an 8-for-10 effort from the field and a 5-of-6 mark from beyond the arc to lead all scorers with 22 points. Lester added 20 points and a season-high 13 boards for her second double-double of the year, while Thornton chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds for her seventh of the season.

Butler returns to action on Saturday (Feb. 14) when it takes on host Loyola beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. CT) in the Joseph J. Gentile Center.